This is my sixth trip to Emmanuel. We’ve seen seventeen orphanages now in Guatemala and Honduras over the past two years. We’ve met incredible people doing amazing things for damaged children. We’ve heard tragic stories before, — often directly from the children, and for the most part in this blog I’ve chosen to focus on the positive. But for some reason, more than any other trip, we learned the awful backstory on how so many ended up in the orphanages we visit.
Last night, as I was trying to get to sleep their stories ran through my head.
The child I met whose mother who sold her when she was under five years old to a man who used her for sex.
The children we met who were born of orphans who became pregnant because guards at the government orphanage took bribes to let gang members enter and rape them.
The child named Francisco, who at 14 months looked like a newborn – suffering fetal alcohol syndrome.
Lupita, whose mother made her sniff glue as an infant to quiet her cries for food. The doctors said she would never walk or talk.
Or the 18 year-old boy who came from a government orphanage weighing only 50 pounds, bedsores down the bone and two weeks to live.
He died on New Years Eve.
When we’re tired, or we have our doubts about what we’re doing they drive us. Motivate us. They ignite our need to do everything possible to help the caregivers – ones like those here at Emmanuel who love them and help them begin to heal.
They are God’s children. And they deserve everything we can do for them.